Your goals for your website will determine how to approach the initial setup process. You can choose to begin with a free or low-cost website from a provider which offers everything beginners need to get started. Some providers market various website packages for those needing more options. Others let you choose a domain name for your site and register it to your or your business.
The way your site looks helps it stand out from the competition. After considering the various free and paid website providers, it's time to either choose from a ready-made professional design, buy a design online from a freelancer, or hire a website designer to create a customized theme. A theme includes a color scheme and a physical layout, text styles and custom features such as a blog, a store with a shopping cart feature and a web form for people to contact your company. Consider which features you will need most before making a decision.
Even if you use a pre-made layout from your site host, it's easy to customize it to fit your image. Think carefully about your company logo, which represents your business. If you already have one you might need to update it. You might also consider posting it on the site header and on the page headers. The visual content on your website can also include photos, text, videos and graphics.
Shape Your Money Maker
Start generating money immediately by joining a paid advertising plan such as pay-per-impression, pay-per-click or pay-per-sale. In pay-per-impression, you earn money every time a company's banner ad is exhibited on your site. With pay-per-click, you get paid when visitors click on ads on your site. In pay-per-sale, visitors must click through and make a purchase on an advertiser's website or take another action for you to cash in. Programs such as Google Adsense work by matching what people type into the Google search engine with specific keywords. Your business website will display ads from other companies based on the keywords those visitors enter into the search engine.
Your business model and types of web content will probably influence your decision on whether to try affiliate marketing. In this practice, you can earn money by posting your links on other merchants' websites and let them earn money by posting their links on yours. From coupon codes to pay-per-click or pay-per-impression arrangements, you can find an affiliate service that makes it easy to have multiple affiliations. Alternatively, you can make arrangements to trade links with one merchant at a time.
- Photo Credit Volodymyr Krasyuk/iStock/Getty Images
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